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Ex-Theranos president Sunny Balwani sentenced to almost 13 years in prison




Photo illustration by Sunny Balwani with abstract shapes, textures and gables.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of the failed blood testing company Theranos, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years and nine months in prison, plus three years of probation.

Driving the news: Balwani’s sentence comes less than three weeks after his former boss and girlfriend, Elizabeth Holmes, was handed a prison sentence of 11 years and three months, which is scheduled to begin in April.

Flashback: A California jury in July found Balwani guilty of 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud against certain Theranos investors and patients.

  • Judge Ed Davila sentenced both Balwani and Holmes, who prosecutors originally wanted to try together.

Behind the scene: Prosecutors had sought a 15-year prison sentence for Balwani plus more than $800 million in restitution, while defense lawyers asked for probation.

  • Balwani chose not to speak before the sentencing.
  • Judge Davila will rule on restitution specifics at a later date, as he also does with Holmes.

Bottom line: Balwani’s defense strategy had been to blame Holmes for the fraud at Theranos, much as Holmes had tried to blame Balwani. None of them worked.

Go deeper:

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison for Theranos fraud

Theranos lawsuit exposes investors’ questionable due diligence

Editor’s note: Cox Enterprises, which invested in Theranos, is the parent company of Axios. This story has been corrected to reflect that Balwani has been sentenced to 13 years in prison, not prison.



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